Dining Room booth at Lamp & Shade Craft Kitchen Orlando - image by Jodi Caballero
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Many consider Orlando and Tampa to be sister cities – and we certainly agree. It’s fairly easy to get to other places that make for a romantic weekend getaway or a quick trip. Next time you head east on I-4 check out these new restaurants in Orlando. These special restaurants and bars have unique atmospheres and creative menus that are worth the drive.

You can browse the full list of new restaurants and experiences at our sibling site, OrlandoDateNightGuide.com, or keep reading for our quick list of top picks that are worth the drive.

New Restaurants in Orlando

Lamp and Shade

1336 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL

Lamp & Shade is Mills area’s newest dining and nightlife concept. Playfully yet eloquently named, Lamp & Shade Craft Kitchen and Cocktails got its inspiration from the idea to ‘hangout and throw some shade in conversation’ while paying homage to the history of its building, previously The Lamp Shade Fair, well-known by locals for over 50 years.

If you have spent time in the Mills 50 district of Orlando it’s got a character all its own. Beloved by Orlando locals for its artfulness, support of the LGBTQA+ community, and unique local businesses, it is a great neighborhood for exploring the real Orlando.

Mural of adults dressed in cocktail wear with lampshades on their heads at Lamp & Shade Craft Kitchen Orlando
MLamp & Shade Craft Kitchen Orlando – image by Jodi Caballero

À La Cart SoDo

2207 E Michigan St, Orlando, FL 32806

À La Cart, the Milk District food truck park by owners April and Dustin Williams, opened the long-awaited À La Cart SoDo on May 1, 2024. Browse 8 mobile outfits including Filipino-Hawaiian vendor OverRice, 503 Latin Fusion, Nona Street Pizza, SmashDunk Brgr, Taitō Sushi, Barrio Español, Oldenburg Provisions, and a “coming soon” coffee and dessert truck. They also feature a rotating draft list of cold drinks.

The new location has more seating, both indoors and out, along with more covered outdoor seating for those unpredictable Florida summer days (and nights). And don’t worry, this location has three times as much parking as their original location.

The Juice Stand – Packing District

1795 West Princeton Avenue, The Packing District

The Juice Stand in The Packing District of Orlando includes three local favorites – Foxtail Coffee, Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream, and The Ravenous Pig Brewing Co. The building is a replica of an iconic shop called the Juice Stand, which was the center of Dr. Phillips Citrus Operations. Perfect for a unique day trip atmosphere, The Juice Stand pays homage to Orlando’s history, something that Tampa folks can definitely appreciate.

Chuan Fu

1035 N Orlando Ave #105, Winter Park, FL 32789

For delicious, upscale Chinese dining Chuan Fu is a must-visit! This Sichuan restaurant by the owners of Chuan Lu Garden and U & Me Revolving Hot Pot, opened in Winter Park in October 2023 – and it’s already made it into the MICHELIN Guide for Orlando. The restaurant occupies the space that most recently was Orlando Meats. It is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Monday.

New Bars in Orlando

The two newest tiki bars in Orlando are Permanent Vacation in Maitland as well as Roka Hula in the Dr. Phillips area – between Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World.

Check out reservation info and what you need to know to visit Permanent Vacation tiki bar.

Permanent Vacation New Tiki Bar in Orlando
Permanent Vacation New Tiki Bar in Orlando – Dani Meyering


Otto’s High Dive, a new elevated cocktail bar with the coziness of your favorite local dive, is now open in the Milk District. Enjoy the Old Florida style bar menu, with fun signature drinks like a guava pastelito-inspired cocktail. Expect modern takes on classic drinks, plus local craft beer and scratch-made Cuban-inspired small plates.

A stunning bar called The Bellhop is under new management in downtown Orlando. It is easy to step inside as it is on the bottom floor of the historic Angebilt Hotel. The bar is designed by former Walt Disney World Imagineers and has a glamorous vintage hotel lobby feel. A gleaming wood bar, glass and feathered chandeliers, leather chairs and plush lounge seating, and a display of brass hotel keys all drive the hotel theme home. The space functions as a moody coffee bar by day, and an elevated cocktail lounge by night.

You can also save a few dollars by visiting some of our favorite Orlando Happy Hours.